5 Ways To Restore A Vintage Wedding Dress

Time is a wedding dress’s best friend and, in some cases, worst enemy. Whether your vintage wedding dress is in fabulous condition, outdated, or in need of repair, read on for our top five tips for restoring and reusing a vintage wedding dress! 

Fit First
High necklines and long sleeves in luxurious laces and silks are prevalent among vintage wedding dresses, but finding the right fit can be tough! Sleeves too short? Consider hemming them to ¾ length. High neckline too tight? Replace buttons with elastic clasps or revise to a bateau neckline, maintaining the beauty and making it relevant to today. 

Less Is More
We’ve all heard the saying less is more, and in the case of vintage wedding dresses, it could not ring truer. Snip away oversized floral rosettes, shoulder pads and puffy sleeves and show a little more skin. You’ll be surprised at the simple beauty underneath it all! 

Add Detail
For the bride who wants to jazz up her vintage wedding dress, lace and custom beading are amazing options. If buttons are missing or the originals aren’t quite your style, replace with a few that are elegant and represent your personal taste.

Layer It
For a vintage gown with a breathtaking bodice, but unfortunate stains, holes or tears on the lower half, add a detachable tulle skirt and gorgeous silk sash. The look is one part vintage, one part modern and entirely fabulous!

Make It Personal
Vintage wedding dresses passed down from family members are true treasures, but if the original wearer did not invest in proper wedding gown preservation post-nuptials, the dress may have succumbed to permanent stains, tears, mildew or insects over time. Check with a professional to be sure the dress is beyond saving (you’d be surprised how miraculous some restorations are!) and consider incorporating the vintage wedding dress into your look in other ways. If there are any salvageable sections, create a pair of gloves or beautiful headpiece. If nothing else, sew a small piece of the aged fabric into the lining of your wedding dress or handbag to keep your loved ones close by throughout your wedding day.

--Keely-Shea Smith 

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